Monday, April 9, 2012

New Flag for North Dakota

Let's hope my attempt at a new North Dakotan flag turns out better than the one I did for South Dakota.  Here's what we have to work with:

This is yet another example of a seal and blue flag, but at least this one has a neat eagle.  The eagle is way too detailed, the plus side being that it isn't surrounded by superfluous stuff like most state seals.  For the Louisiana flag, which also prominently features a large bird, my main change was to simplify the creature to make it less fussy.  I considered doing that with this flag, but didn't want to repeat myself.

My next idea was a wood chipper on a white and red background, but I doubt North Dakota wants that to be the new symbol of the state.  Plus, it would be too regional, and I want to represent more than just Fargo.

North Dakota doesn't have much flag history.  The current design was adopted in 1911 and was based on a regimental banner carried by North Dakotan soldiers in the Spanish-American War.  The only change they made when it was officially adopted was the addition of the banner along the bottom.  In recent months, there was an attempt to change the flag to a much simpler design, but I've been unable to find that news story again.  If I remember correctly, it was a single large star in yellow and blue, but I may not have that right.  I know it didn't get through the legislature though.  (It might have been South Dakota actually, which would be embarrassing for me)
EDIT: The proposal I was thinking of was South Dakota, thanks Leonardo, and my bad.

At any rate, I wouldn't want to use that design anyway, as I do try to be original in my suggestions.  They aren't always good, but I try not to (overtly) copy others.  In that spirit, I decided to take my inspiration from a flag that I'm sure few outside of North Dakota would recognize (and probably not too many inside if we're being honest), the standard of the Governor of North Dakota:

This flag, even with all the tiny details, is better than North Dakota's current flag.  Green is not a common background color in the US, which I think is a shame, but this flag makes good use of it.  The text will have to go, as will the bow and arrows at the top, but in the end I didn't make as many changes as you might expect:

I've altered the dimensions of the flag, making it less long and narrow, and removed the detail I mentioned above.  I also rotated the arrowhead, so that it is now pointing north, for obvious reasons.  North Dakota has a much better connection to its Native American heritage than many other states and the use of the arrowhead reflects that. 

As for the four stars, I decided to justify them as representing the four corners of the state.  I was initially pleased because I thought North Dakota was the 40th state and that only having four stars could represent that as well, but when I double-checked my dates, I found it was the 39th, so no help there.  I do not know what they stood for on the original governor's flag, but they seem to show up on many governors' flag across the country, so maybe they don't belong here at all.  Regardless, I decided to keep them, mostly because I thought it looked  little boring with just the arrowhead.


  1. Yes, it was South Dakota (you're talking about this or about this other), but don't worry...

    I liked your proposal. I'd liked the governor's flag if simplified, too. But my favorite governor flag is Hawaii governor's: without the word "Hawaii", it would have been an excellent flag for state.

    1. Thanks for that, I made an edit to reflect my mistake. For someone who cares about flags, it wasn't a very smart one for me to make :)

      And I agree on the Governor of Hawaii's flag, nice contrasting colors and no distracting details. Too bad more governors don't follow that model.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hello, I was really encouraged to discover this site. The cause getting that this is these kinds of andeducational put up. I desired to thank you for this insightful read through of the subject.
    Custom Flag
    Advertising Flag

  4. Severe lover of your site, a significant variety of your weblog posts have really aided me out. Hunting in the direction of updates!
    Polyester Flag
    String Flags